“Blessed are the un-entitled, the one hungry for the table scraps, the ones grasping desperately for the hem, the ones satisfied with the simple world of healing without the miraculous performance. They know there is power even in the remnants, the odds and ends. Theirs is the kingdom.” Amanda Held Opelt.
My mother use to tell me that the world doesn’t owe you anything. She would say: “You make your own happiness.” Having lived through the depression and a childhood with many challenges she learned over time that there was beauty and value in the simple and plain. Maybe if she had the opportunity to live in wealth and abundance she would have been shaped differently but perhaps not. Perhaps she would have been content in a one room apartment or a mansion on the hill. Don’t get me wrong, she would have found something to complain about but all in all she would have found contentment.
They say that you don’t appreciate the light unless you know what darkness is. You don’t love the sunshine if you have not been soaked in a rainstorm. You can’t truly value health or love if you haven’t been sick or wounded by hate. In the book of Habakuk (make sure you read Habakuk…one day you are going to meet him and he is going to ask you: “How did you like my book?) God says: “Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith.” There is hope for those who will hold firm their trust in God even as the darkness descends, the rain pours down and the love and life around us slowly seems to erode. Because God doesn’t always come, in fact, relatively rarely comes, in the miraculous and extravagant, the loud and sensational. He comes instead as He did to Elijah as we too hide in our caves…He comes with a quiet whisper, with the sound of sheer silence.
I somewhat disagree with my mother about making our own happiness. That usually doesn’t work out too well if our priorities are misplaced. We chase things that are illusionary and fleeting. But I do agree with her that we make choices that will bring us happiness or despair. Our minds are shaped by what we think on and what we allow to fill our souls. So if our hearts and minds are set on the things of God, if we, as Jesus urges us to do, set our treasures in heaven, if we as Paul suggests in Philippians, think about the good, pure, lovely, etc. things, then we will find happiness that comes from the hand and heart of God. And we will be filled with the table scraps and satisfied with the simple touch of Jesus’ hem.
The world doesn’t owe us anything. And neither does God. And once we humbly accept that the Kingdom of God appears in fantastic ways.
What do you think?
How does it make you feel?